Blazing the Trail to Higher Blends

By Anna Simet | June 01, 2023

As I write this note, the most-viewed story on the Biodiesel Magazine website this week is “Optimus Technologies closes $17.8m Series A led by Mitsui & Co.” Quite timely with this issue, being that our page-16 cover story, “A Boost for B100,” by Susanne Retka Schill, is largely focused on Optimus and its Vector System. In short, the technology upgrades diesel engines to operate on B100 and does so avoiding the issues that have been historically involved in using higher blends of biodiesel, including cost, ease of retrofit and cold flow. In the story, Retka Schill talks with Optimus CEO Colin Huwyler about the Vector System’s capabilities, extensive testing with industry partners, and how biodiesel’s competitiveness with renewable diesel is going to hold up. Retka Schill also chats with Steve Howell, founding partner of M4 Consulting and senior technical advisor for Clean Fuels Alliance America, about the traction higher biodiesel blends are getting. Says Howell, “What we’re seeing now is that customers want to have maximum carbon reductions, and B20 simply is not enough.”

Moving on to our page-22 feature, “The Path to Biointermediates” demonstrates that while the U.S. EPA’s biointermediate provisions are designed to open up the feedstock supply chain, which the biodiesel, renewable diesel and SAF sectors will all need, it is complicated, and the program has still not completed any registrations. Staff Writer Katie Schroeder provides a well-rounded update in her story, which features commentary from Kari Buttenhoff, partner at Christianson CPAs & Consultants; Matt Herman, senior director of renewable product marketing with the Iowa Soybean Association; and the U.S. EPA’s Robert Anderson, who works on the agency’s fuel compliance issues.

Among other content in this issue is a notice that our parent company, BBI International, has partnered with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, or CAAFI, on the first-ever North American SAF Conference & Expo, which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in August. This event will focus on the latest strategies for aviation fuel decarbonization and solutions for key industry challenges, and highlight the current opportunities for airlines, corporations and fuel producers. Learn more at—hope to see you there. 

Author: Anna Simet
Biodiesel Magazine

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